Exclusive: The Shack co-star Aviv Alush on being the first Israeli actor to play Jesus in an English-language movie

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The Shack had one of the biggest first weekends in the history of “faith-based” films. It is also making history in one other important way: it just may be the first English-language movie to feature an Israeli actor as Jesus Christ.

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New pictures: Aviv Alush as Jesus in The Shack, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus with Rooney Mara in Mary Magdalene

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Jesus will be on the big screen in at least two movies next year, and if you want to get a sense of what he will look like, we now have new pictures from both films.

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Our first look at the modern-day Jesus in The Shack

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There have been quite a few movies about Jesus this year, and the genre shows no signs of letting up. Next year will bring us The Star and Mary Magdalene, both of which are set in the first century — but first it will bring us The Shack, an adaptation of William P. Young’s novel, set in the present day, about a grief-stricken father who is met by all three persons of the Trinity, including God the Son, i.e. Jesus.

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Israeli actor to play Jesus in The Shack

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Haaz Sleiman may have been the first actor born and raised in the Middle East to play Jesus in a major English-language movie (in last March’s Killing Jesus), but he certainly won’t be the last. Deadline reports that Israeli actor Aviv Alush has now been hired to play Jesus in Stuart Hazeldine’s upcoming adaptation of The Shack.

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